Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation (Psalm 5:1).
Cows have a 4-compartment stomach. Each chomp of grass is chewed and then swallowed into the stomach. There it mixes with digestive enzymes and is returned to the cow’s mouth where it is chewed again. This re-chewed grass is called “cud.” This process of chewing the cud continues until all the moisture is removed from the grass and only the leftover fibrous material passes through the cow.
The more a cow chews it’s cud, the more milk and muscle it produces. Cud chewing also indicates the health of the animal. Healthy cows spend about eight hours a day chewing their cud, for more than 40,000 chews a day!
Eastern religions describe meditation as the emptying of the mind, but the Hebrew word “meditate” means to read and re-read and ponder. It’s the process of chewing on the Scriptures. Merely reading the Bible isn’t sufficient; it must be chewed upon throughout the day to build spiritual health and productivity.
Jesus shocked crowds in His day by saying that, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you (John 6:53). They were offended by His words and many of them stopped following Him because of this (John 6:61, 66). The words He used, eat and drink are literally gnaw and keep gnawing and gulp and keep gulping; like chewing the cud.
In modern lingo, Jesus was saying: “To have eternal life, You must chew on Me continually until I am fully digested and part of your very being. Nibbling on Me isn’t enough.”
As the Christian meditates on the written Word, the living Word becomes more and more a part of his being.
Whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9).